Dreams; we all have them.
And every now and then a few of us decide to take chances and follow those dreams, regardless of how crazy they may seem. Mine, was moving to Africa. So when I packed up my bag last year, like most people with big dreams I never looked back. And although, I thought I would be alone in my quest to "conquer" Ghana, I soon realized that there were many people who had the same idea as I did.We come mostly from the United States and the United Kingdom, we are under the age of 35 and most importantly, we all have our own dream of creating the next best service or product of Ghana. As one may imagine, this crowd is an interesting mix of personalities and experiences. And although, most people in the crowd persevere, every now and then one will disappear; deciding that the hardships of Ghana are just too much for them. Others decide to abandon their dreams for more practical wealth and land a job with decent benefits. After all how long can one live off of one's savings? And well, a few, just start to lose confidence in their dream.
As an entrepreneur in Ghana, I will agree that life is tough. Between the constant rotation of the business cycle and the energy it takes to track down money owed, running a business in Ghana will teach a person that every dream has a cost. But then again most things worth doing come at a cost and not necessarily a monetary one.
Having an idea is free. Anyone can think of something new. But to create the vision of that idea is to dream, and if one decides to turn that dream into reality, it will undoubtedly cost that person something – be it time, food or sleep. It is unfortunate that more people don't take into account the sacrifice of making a dream a reality.
Instead of sticking with their dreams through thick and thin, the first time some people see that the dream may not be exactly what they envisioned or going the way they predicted, they run. The moment the business doesn't start making money or loses money, they want to pack their things and go back to a safe reality. But what good is a dream half pursued?
Living in Ghana has truly taught me the cost dreams. But, if someone ask me, the most important thing is that I am living my dream. After all, regardless of how bad the day goes, once the hot sun hits my face and the cool Atlantic breeze rustles the coconut trees, a smile can't help cross my face and my heart fills with joy at the very thought that I live in Africa. These moments not only provide me a untouchable peace, but they also allow me to believe that I am living my dream wholeheartedly. How many others can say the same?
Cordie Aziz is a former congressional staffer who relocated to Ghana in 2011 after losing her job. She is passionate about encouraging young entrepreneurs to do business in Africa and helping people actualize their dreams. Find her on twitter @GoneiiGhana.